Another dot in the blogosphere?

Posts Tagged ‘ipod touch

Recently, a blogger shared what he thought were the top five security settings for iOS. I think there should be at least two more.

You should deactivate the ability to change accounts and the untoggle the change location settings.

Once you have entered all email and iCloud account information, you should prevent the settings from being deleted or changed. Likewise, to prevent Find My iPhone from being deactivated, you should lock down location settings.

You start by tapping on Settings -> General -> Restrictions. I am making use of the new WordPress photo carousel feature to illustrate the other steps.

It’s a sign of the times when a kids says, “Dad, Dad! He’s looking up answers on his iPod!” and the father doesn’t bat an eyelid.

[image source, used under CC licence]

I wish more parents would respond like Chris Dawson. I think that his kids are more likely to be more ready for higher education and the workplace because they will focus less on knowing WHAT and will instead be more able to tap WHO, rationalize WHY and formulate HOW.

I have been messing about with Zombie Farm on my iPhone during my interstitial time. My 5-year-old son has too. Below is a screenshot he took of his fledgling farm.

[from isaac's posterous]

I have been struck by the possibilities of how teachers might use this as a context for the teaching and learning of languages, mathematics and science. Beyond specific content, I am more interested in how such a game can promote strategic thinking, delayed gratification and design aesthetics.

I might integrate this game into the educational gaming series of my ICT course next semester. There will be some who can download the game into their iPhones (if they haven’t done so already) and I can provide two of my own iPod Touches to those who visit the mobile gaming station. Might Apple sponsor a few more devices?

It’s been a year since I first heard of Abilene Christian University (ACU) providing iPhones or iPod Touches for students. The link to the Chronicle article in my blog entry then seems to be broken now, but ACU still has the information up on its Website.

The Chronicle and Wired have revisited the programme at ACU. The Chronicle called it “an academic success” and both articles provided examples of how the mobile devices were used.

I liked how one professor asked his students to look for information “on the fly” (meaning “in real time”, not the insect!) and then discuss what they found. I think that it reflects how we learn and need to learn nowadays.

I was less fond of the idea of posing questions in PowerPoint and getting students to poll their answers anonymously. Yes, most students don’t speak up, but they will be active on the poll. I can attest to this with my own trainee teachers: Only a few participate during class discussions (this is after a deafening period of silence), but all will clickity-clack on keyboards as they contribute to shared documents, polls, mindmaps, etc.

The first approach integrated technology more effectively. It was an attempt to cover content dynamically and model/teach thinking skills. It also presented opportunities for students to learn how to articulate, debate and evaluate. The second approach was interactive but it kept learners in their shells. They certainly expressed themselves, but they did not move much outside their comfort zones.

I am all for learning starting with what students are first comfortable with. But we often learn most when we are put in a tight spot and have to make the effort to get out of it. Technology should be a means to an end, but the end should not be to build a tighter shell.


Video source

This is a free service for streaming ‘live’ videos from a webcam, video camera or computer desktop to an iPhone or iPod Touch via 3G or wifi.

Imagine the possibilities! Watch lectures or demonstrations at home or work, collaborate with your peers by streaming reports from the field, set up cheap security systems at home or in schools, get students to show off what they know by creating their own shows, etc.

ProfHacker’s recent entry, What Would It Take to Demonstrate the Academic Value of Handheld Computing? tickled a few of my neurons.

The context of the question is how a few institutes of higher learning in the USA have incorporated iPhones and iPod Touches into education. At least one person I am following on Twitter also shares how iPod Touches are being used in school districts in the USA.

The question is something I ask myself. But I realise that it is better to do than to talk and I am glad that some of my teacher trainees are thinking along the lines of mobile technologies.

Without any pressure from me, at least one of my groups is thinking of some lesson ideas that make use of the iPod Touch for art lessons. They will present their ideas in a few weeks. Stay tuned!

Yes, the headline is corny when you find out that the writers of the article Adding a Touch of Technology were describing their school’s incorporation of the Apple iPod Touch. I had been following an iPod Touch-for-classrooms development from a teacher trainer who tweeted and by monitoring RSS feeds, but the article was a great read because it was a deeper look into one classroom case.

I liked how the teachers were excited about the possibilities and how they were humbled by the wisdom of their students. Here’s my favourite part of the article:

And one comment really made us really think.

“I would allow for more access to other applications (but with restrictions), but I would also allow for the students to use the iPod in a way that would be helpful for them, and not in a way a teacher thinks.”

Wow. As you can see, our students quickly acquired a pretty sure grasp of new technology and its implications for their learning. Many students were already familiar with using the iPod Touch, and those who weren’t quickly became proficient within a few minutes. There wasn’t much need for “how-to” lessons. More importantly, we realized that when given the opportunity, guidance, support, and proper environment, students will use resources and technologies to meet expectations in ways that make sense for them—and sometimes in ways that were better than anything we had conceived.

Educators who promote 21st Century skills and technology have always advocated for more constructivist and open environments for students to explore and create meaning, but it’s always refreshing when your kids articulate the need for the work to be “student-centered” so clearly.

When the marriage of technology and pedagogy is well thought out and managed, it can be a match made in learning heaven! The authors concluded by saying:

As teachers, we have to move as well─away from trying to use technology to replicate what we did with chalk, paper, and multiple-choice tests, and toward an understanding of how to create and support a school environment where students develop their metacognitive and analytical skills to meet high academic standards. We must help them utilize a variety of resources and materials, including the multiple levels of technologies available to them. Some students will learn differently, and some technologies will be better suited for various tasks than others.

This is a difficult instructional process since most of us were not taught in this way. We did not go through school with the Internet and customizable software programs in our pocket. But if we want our teaching practices to remain relevant in this information-driven age, we will listen to our students much more closely─and examine how the power and ease-of-access to widely available resources and technologies necessitate change in the way we help them learn.

Then, technology won’t be a novelty.

Honest, reflective and headed in the right direction. I wish them all the best and I hope that I start my teacher trainees on similar paths!


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